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Shaping up the workforce

Workers who emerged from pandemic-induced work-from-home situations to return to workplaces this spring and summer may not have been as trim and healthy as they were 18 months ago.

After all, when working from home we have constant access to our kitchen cabinets and refrigerators. Grabbing a snack or a sweet soda to keep us occupied and satiated while sitting in front of our computers was a very simple thing to do.

According to an American Psychological Association survey called “Stress in America,” 61% of Americans reported undesired weight gain or loss during the pandemic. The report showed 42% gained more than they intended, with an average weight gain of 29 pounds over a year.

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation would like to turn that trend around by accepting applications for its Workplace Wellness Grant Program.

“A healthy workforce is crucial to workplace safety,” said BWC Interim Administrator/CEO John Logue.

Employers can get $300 per participating employee over a four-year period, maxing out at $15,000 per policy. Their programs must have a health-risk appraisal, a biometric assessment and programs to address those risk factors.

It is an intriguing possibility, and probably tempting for those looking to jumpstart a workforce that needs to get back on the right track.

But those assessing applications for the grants must look for some reassurance they are not throwing taxpayer money at ineffective programs.

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